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Agreement On Cree Nation Governance Between The Cree Of Eeyou Istchee And The Government Of Canada

It is equally important that the bill establish a Kree Constitution. For the first time since the signing of the James Bay and Northern Quebec agreement and at the request of the Cree, their existing local and regional structures are placed under a single agreement. Twenty-five years after the signing of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement in 1975, many disputes have erupted between Cree and Quebec and Canada, largely due to non-compliance with contractual obligations. Excessive forestry activities harm kree traps and traditional activities. The Great Whale River Hydroelectric Project threatened serious environmental and social damage. The Crees have been forced to initiate numerous legal proceedings to defend our rights. The James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement includes 31 chapters covering issues such as eligibility, land settlement, local and regional government, health and education, justice and police, environmental protection and social protection, hunting, fishing and fishing rights, community and economic development, a revenue security program for freezer vessels and a specific forest regime. Bill C-70 also responded to the Naskapi Nation`s efforts to strengthen its internal governance by making significant changes to quebec`s Cree-naskapi Act and eliminating discriminatory language in federal legislation, in accordance with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. According to The Cree itself, the process that culminated in this agreement was “guided by the fundamental principle of respect for Cree`s rights.” The Peace of the Braves marked a turning point in the relationship between Cree and Quebec. It paved the way for a new nation-to-nation partnership between Cree and Quebec in the responsible development of Eeyou Istchee. It provides that, as such, Bill C-70 is a promising example of restoring a national framework between Aboriginal peoples and the Government of Canada.

In order to ensure that Canada meets its obligations under this agreement and to ensure that funds imposed on the Cree are received on time, Bill C-70 must obtain Royal Approval before the end of the current fiscal year. We need to move quickly, as was the case elsewhere, where Bill C-70 passed all stages of the proceedings unanimously in two days. The James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement is the fundamental charter of rights created. This is the first modern agreement on the claim of Aboriginal land claims in Canada and is protected by the Constitution of Canada. Cree`s rights cannot be changed or removed without Cree`s consent.

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